Molecular beam epitaxy as a growth technique for achieving free-standing zinc-blende GaN and wurtzite AlxGa1-xN

In this study we have used plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PA-MBE) and have produced for the first time free-standing layers of zinc-blende GaN up to 100μm in thickness and up to 3-inch in diameter. We have shown that our newly developed PA-MBE process for the growth of zinc-blende GaN layers can also be used to achieve free-standing wurtzite AlxGa1-xN wafers. Zinc-blende and wurtzite AlxGa1-xN polytypes can be grown on different orientations of GaAs substrates - (001) and (111)B respectively. We have subsequently removed the GaAs using a chemical etch in order to produce free-standing GaN and AlxGa1-xN wafers. At a thickness of ∼30µm, free-standing GaN and AlxGa1-xN wafers can easily be handled without cracking. Therefore, free-standing GaN and AlxGa1-xN wafers with thicknesses in the 30–100μm range may be used as substrates for further growth of GaN and AlxGa1-xN-based structures and devices. We have compared different RF nitrogen plasma sources for the growth of thick nitride AlxGa1-xN films including a standard HD25 source from Oxford Applied Research and a novel high efficiency source from Riber. We have investigated a wide range of the growth rates from 0.2 to 3µm/h. The use of highly efficient nitrogen RF plasma sources makes PA-MBE a potentially viable commercial process, since free-standing films can be achieved in a single day. Our results have demonstrated that MBE may be competitive with the other group III-nitrides bulk growth ...
Source: Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials - Category: Chemistry Source Type: research

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